On March 26, 2015, Love UT Give UT will bring Utahns together for 24 hours of unprecedented giving to some of our community’s premier nonprofit organizations.
We encourage you to make a donation of $10 or more to The Salt Lake Children’s Choir.
Give online through the Choir’s special “Love Utah Give UT” website . Make your donation on March 26, or, if you prefer, click here now and schedule your donation for March 26.
Smiling singers from the Salt Lake Children’s Choir, Cathedral of the Madeleine Christmas 2014.
Thank you for your generous support of arts education for children in our community.
Salt Lake Children’s Choir performing in the Excellence in the Community Concert Series, Spring 2014. Photo by Lex Anderson
Participating in the Salt Lake Children’s Choir is a great way to expose your child to the wonderful world of classical music. The Choir is now scheduling auditions for children between ages 8-15. No previous musical experience is required. Please call 801-537-1412 to set up an audition or to find out more. Please share this announcement with friends, family and neighbors who might be interested!
Feeling strongly that the study of choral music was beneficial for my children, I wanted to see what supportive evidence was out there. So I Googled, “Why should children study choral music?” These were a few sites that caught my eye:
The Central Coast Children’s Choir web page listed a good number of benefits. I liked what I saw, but I wanted more . . . so I ventured to the Chorister’s Guild, which not only had some information to answer my question, but some helpful suggestions. Still not satisfied I had learned enough, I gathered some interesting insights on the Classics for Kids website. I’m sure there is more out there, but here’s what I learned:
First some benefits:
- Music is Science, and is exact and specific. This is comforting to my children because it helps them to make sense of the chaotic, ever changing world around them. I think it is safe to say the music brings them peace.
- Music is Mathematical with its divisions of time into fractions. Who couldn’t use more math practice? Learning a piece of music with its various dynamics is like deciphering a puzzle. It’s great brain exercise, as the mind figures out how all the parts work together to create the final piece.
- Music is History; it reflects the environments and cultures from the time and place it was created. Any time we study the arts of a particular time period, we gain understanding and empathy for others.
- Music is a Foreign Language, using symbols to represent ideas. And lyrics are often sung in foreign languages. My children have sung songs in Japanese, German, Russian, Spanish, Navajo and French, to name a few.
- Music is Physical: it requires good posture, proper breathing, coordination, and muscle control. The body and mind, then, work together, responding to sound as it enters through the ears, interpreting that sound with the mind, and producing the notes their eyes see.
- Music is Critical Thinking. It provides the opportunity to develop insight and requires thought to understand the lyrics and create the music’s dynamics.
- Music is Emotional and it is Art: It involves all of our being. The child enters a creative zone as he focuses intently and puts forth concentrated effort, making it a good stress release. The musician has a passionate, whole body experience. And she gives a performance that serves self and the community as it heightens the life experience for both. Let’s just say, music is joy.
The benefits go deeper
As you can see, the benefits go far beyond musical skill. The experience enriches many facets of a child’s life and opens doors to many other skills.
- Studies prove that participation in choir, band, and orchestra raises student IQ and improves the ability to think and reason. The students also have higher SAT scores. And the longer students participate in musical programs, the greater the impact on their learning.
- Music performance uses almost every part of the brain because a person must synthesize an array of skills and concepts.
- The choral setting provides emotional and social growth. The individual and team work required provide members an understanding of self and others. This also translates to success in the child’s future workplace.
- Students learn to make good judgments.
- They learn that problems have multiple solutions; they do the problem solving and they realize there are unanticipated solutions to be discovered.
- They learn to say poetically what cannot be communicated with standard methods.
- Children learn what’s important. They learn to dig into the details, and then step back and get the big picture as well.
Some time in the late 1990’s I was invited to attend a Salt Lake Children’s Choir concert with my sister and her children. I thought to myself as I sat and marveled at their professional presentation, “I would love to have a child who sings in that choir some day.” At the time I was still single.
Fast forward to 2011: One day soon after my first son turned eight, his church leader called to ask if it would be alright for Colin to sing a solo in the children’s program. I had heard my child sing songs he picked up from one place or another and thought that he seemed to be on pitch, “but perhaps I am just a typical proud parent,” I told myself. When an outsider told me he sang well, I thought, “If he has a gift for singing he ought to be developing it.” I immediately thought back to my experience seeing the Salt Lake Children’s Choir perform. Continue reading